Mobile internet usage in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Mobile internet usage has worked its way into the daily life of consumers in the United States, mainly due to the popularity of mobile technology and the rise of mobile devices. The number of mobile wireless subscriber connections in the U.S. reached an all-time high in 2017, when this figure stood at 400 million. That same year, there were around 133 mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in the United States. Projections for this industry are optimistic, as the number of mobile phone internet users in the United States is estimated to increase from 237 million in 2017 to 275 million by 2022. In line with these figures, the number of online users that access internet exclusively via mobile devices is also expected to increase in the coming years.

As mobile internet use grows, the development and popularity of mobile applications, shortened to simply apps, also increases. Apps focus on an extremely wide array of purposes, from gaming and weight loss apps to mobile messengers. The leading app stores are Google Play, which is the official app store for the Android OS, and Apple’s App Store, available for iOS users. Google Play has 3.8 million apps available, and Apple’s App Store has two million. Facebook ranks consistently among the most popular mobile apps, and the most popular social networking app in the United States in terms of monthly visitors. The social networking app received an average of 169 million monthly users as of July 2018. The Facebook app is also one of the most popular apps in U.S. audience reach. Facebook’s position as leading mobile app is no coincidence as social media is one of the most popular activities of mobile internet users.

Other popular mobile apps include YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Gmail and Pandora Radio. YouTube is by far the most popular mobile music and video app in the United States, followed by Netflix and Apple Music. The future is promising for these apps, as consumption of video content on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones has been making large gains recently.

Another key trend in the mobile internet usage market is the boost of mobile retail e-commerce sales. In 2021, U.S. mobile retail revenues are expected to amount to 420 billion U.S. dollars, up from 156 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. As of Q4 2017, mobile devices account for 24 percent of all digital e-commerce spending in the United States. Mobile accounted for 64 percent of U.S. online retail minutes but only 24 percent of retail spending.

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